I’ve decided to blog my book tour as it happens!
We’ll see if I can keep up, but I have 50 minutes now to write this post before having to do more cookbook-related stuff. Yesterday was such a good day; it started where I am now, at Ritual Coffee in the Mission. It’s a great place to work with wonderful coffee and free WiFi. From here, I walked over to Bar Tartine to have a sandwich.
If my ears are made of ashes today, that’s because they’ve never burned harder than they did on Tuesday night when Lidia Bastianich–one of my food world heroes–introduced me at the first of two Eataly dinners we’re doing to launch my new cookbook. (The 2nd dinner, on November 9th, still has seats available here.) The whole night was surreal. Before the guests arrived, Ann Bramson, Artisan’s legendary publisher, came by to toast the book with me, Judy (my indefatigable editor) and Molly (my impressive publicist who arranged for this whole dinner, as well as all the dinners coming up). Then came the guests, friends and family, including my beaming parents.
My love affair with toast hasn’t waned since it began back in May. Sure, there’ve been some breadless mornings where I eat a piece of fruit or don’t eat anything at all, but most mornings there I am in my kitchen, slicing a big slice of bread, popping it into my cheap-o toaster and slathering it with something interesting.
The slathering, as you might imagine, is the most exciting part. That’s why I keep my eyes peeled wherever I go for potential toast toppings.
Last week, at Cookbook in Echo Park, I spied this bowl of pink lemons. I overheard the woman working there explaining them to another customer; something about a fungus or a disease that turns them pink. (I assume this fungus or disease isn’t deadly.)
I didn’t go into the store with the intention of buying pink lemons–I didn’t even know pink lemons existed–but I decided to buy one and to bring it home. Maybe it would make a nice garnish for a fruity cocktail? Maybe next time I could buy 8 or 9 and make a batch of naturally pink pink lemonade? I wouldn’t know until I cut into it, which I promptly did the next day.
There are certain dinners we make for ourselves that maybe shouldn’t be shared in public.
It’s one thing to share a recipe for a roast chicken, for example; everyone gets that, everyone wants that. But the next day, when that chicken’s cold and wrapped in aluminum foil in your refrigerator and you have a few stray carrots and some yogurt and some raisins and some eggs, and you make a dinner with those things? People may not want to hear about that. So if you’re one of those people, look away! Everyone else, here’s a dinner I made for myself last week.
It’s funny how, when a partner goes away on a trip, you start to cook things that you wouldn’t cook if they were there. For many people, that might be something really decadent (rib-eye for one, for example) but for me, lately, I move in the other direction: I go healthy.
Which is not to say that I don’t cook healthy when Craig is here (see: Craig’s Quinoa Conversion) but that it usually takes some convincing. So now that he’s in Seattle for the week, I decided to make a healthy dinner too healthy-sounding for him to accept. Turns out it’s one of my favorite things I’ve made in a long time.
Well, folks, today was the big day. At 9:30 AM I met with Lizzie, my constant companion and photographer over the past year, so she could hand over the discs with all of her pictures and the match prints (hard copies) for me to deliver, along with my manuscript, to my publisher, Artisan Books. And so it was that after we sipped cappuccino (Lizzie) and iced coffee (me) and Brendan the barrista kindly snapped that photo you see above, I journeyed south on 6th Avenue down to Houston, over to Varick and up the elevator to my publisher to hand things over.